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Right-Wing Truckers Threaten to Shut Down Washington

By David Neiwert on October 8, 2013 - 9:26 am, Posted in Antigovernment, Conspiracies, Patriot

A group of politically right-oriented long-haul truckers is attempting to organize a three-day protest starting later this week in Washington, D.C. To make their point, they are planning to bring all traffic around the nation’s capital to a grinding halt by creating traffic jams on the Beltway of highways surrounding the city.

The only problem with the protest — scheduled for Oct. 11-13 — is that it isn’t exactly clear what the truckers are protesting, nor is it clear what will meet their demands. It appears, though, that they expect Congress to impeach President Obama, overturn the congressionally approved health care reforms, and disband the Department of Homeland Security.

The only aspect of the planned protest that is clear is that it is fueled by conspiracy theories regarding President Obama and fears about an imminent economic collapse. And it is being promoted by antigovernment “Patriots” and radio-show hosts with a history of far-right agitation.

One of the would-be participants told U.S. News and World Report that the truckers intend to inspire the masses to force the arrest of President Obama and members of Congress.

The chief organizer of the “Truckers Ride for the Constitution” is a former country music singer named Zeeda Andrews who created a website and Facebook page for the campaign earlier this summer, and it has been gradually building momentum with the help of right-wing radio hosts.

Andrews’ website details the “demands” of the truckers in a somewhat oblique fashion, presented as a list of paranoid fears of supposed “unconstitutional” behavior by the government. Indeed, the list of grammar- and punctuation-challenged demands begins: “Long before he was president, Barry Soetoro, aka Barack Obama, was already plotting with others, to overturn the Constitution for the United States.”

It then goes on to list a variety of offending actions – including emissions regulations for trucks in California, and a lack of truck parking (“More truck stops have went out of business because of this administration’s economic impact,” the manifesto reads). Among the actions the truckers appear to believe are unconstitutional are the Affordable Care Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, and the Patriot Act, since the truckers insist the Department of Homeland Security is an “unconstitutional” entity.

It also claims the Obama administration is violating the War Powers Act by “exposing, and administering experimental, psychotropic, mind altering drugs for control over soldiers during secret, clandestine operations.”

Andrews told U.S. News and World Report that among the actions that Congress could take to prevent the “shutdown” by the truckers would be the impeachment of President Obama. But not all of the participants agree.

“We are not going to ask for impeachment,” a Georgia trucker named Earl Conlon, who claimed to be in charge of logistics for the protest, told the magazine. “We are coming whether they like it or not. We’re not asking for impeachment, we’re asking for the arrest of everyone in government who has violated their oath of office.” Among those he expected to see arrested are former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.

One of the most avid supporters of the protest is radio host Pete Santilli, who recently joined up with fired Pennsylvania police chief Mark Kessler to cohost a Patriot-movement radio show. (Santilli is currently best known for saying on his own radio show last May that he would like to “shoot Hillary Clinton in the vagina” and then watch her slowly die.) He hosted Andrews on his show recently to promote the protest, promising to “shut Washington down.”

On that program, Andrews made clear that the purpose of the protest was to warn Americans that the government was conspiring to bring down the nation’s economy. “They are going to crash the economy, there’s no doubt about that,” she said. “That’s what they’re planning.”

Conlon, in the meantime, appears to be promoting the classic Patriot-movement strategy of applying a “Citizens Grand Jury” — in which ordinary “sovereign citizens” supposedly can convene a jury and declare federal laws unconstitutional without court approval — to the elected officials in Washington. He told the U.S. News and World Report reporter that such a jury would be used to indict various liberal officials.

“We want these people arrested, and we’re coming in with the grand jury to do it,” he said. “We are going to ask the law enforcement to uphold their constitutional oath and make these arrests. If they refuse to do it, by the power of the people of the United States and the people’s grand jury, they don’t want to do it, we will. … We the people will find a way.”

However, the movement is already showing signs of fractiousness: Andrews has angrily disclaimed Conlon’s participation, warning him on the protest’s Facebook page that he has been “advised NOT to misrepresent himself as a spokesperson for this peaceful event.” One post commented: “Although Earl riled up a sensational title, he stepped out of bounds of our peaceful intent and methods. DHS would love to have a reason to use their bullets.”

  • aadila


    Either that or we could, you know, vote.

  • Mel

    Now I do agree and support the truckers with this movement to impeach the cabinet and its members, but I do not believe that much will come of it. I do believe the only way we can overthrow this tyranny in the white house, is for all 300 something million Americans who believe in freedom march our happy butts down there and take it over. American Revolution has to happen in order to get new officials in office, will that happen anytime soon probably not.

  • Jane Schiff

    The tragic side of this mess – there’s a strong normal
    AFLCIO and perhaps this is designed to attempt to bring them to their knees.

  • Tobias A. Weissman

    This sounds like the same garbage talk that Adolph Hitler did right after WW1. I hope that the USA doesn’t have lamb like followers that was in Germany at that time or else we’re in big trouble!

  • Dan Zabetakis

    If this protest has started, it has failed. Traffic this morning in DC was lighter than normal in spite of the rain. No sign of protest.

  • Mary OBrien

    I wonder if any of these right-wingers are members of the program “Truckers Against Trafficking.” If yes, then I say, “Bring it on!”

  • Mark Potok

    No, JoshuaS, that’s not right. The Post had it completely wrong yesterday. They quoted Conlon, who is in fact — as we said in this post — NOT the person behind the protest. Look around the Internet and you’ll see that I’m right. David Neiwert had it right to begin with.

  • JoshuaS

    Apparently no one has been paying attention. This alleged group, led by a man named Earl Conlon, is a hoax.

    There was an article about the hoax, with quotes from Conlon, that explained why he did it.

  • Publium

    A group of protestors conspiring to deny people their civil right to use the public roadways is definitely wrong. But so is a group of protesters actually denying people their civil right to use the public roadways, right? See Yet HateWatch only reports the former.

  • aadila

    The WV courthouse shooter was a retired cop.

  • Matthew

    Are they union truckers?

  • Gregory

    From Right Wing Watch: Who Is Behind The Truckers Ride For The Constitution

  • aadila

    As of this moment shots have been fired at a US Courthouse in Wheeling WV. Two dozen shots from an assault rifle.

    US Marshals are handling it at this point — the gunman was shot and has life threatening injuries. One security guard wounded.

    More details pending…

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “It’s funny that the left doesn’t like every part of their agenda but didn’t life a finger to stop these unconstitutional incursion. Start your own movement which doesn’t threaten Obamacare. There a lot more Americans in sympathy with these truckers than you think. Restoring basic rights is a good goal.”

    LOL WUT. The left was protesting the PATRIOT Act from the beginning while these conservative yahoos were calling them traitors and terrorist sympathizers.

  • IludiumPhosdex

    From “shawn”:

    well its about time for a federalist-socialist-anti-racist party

    they’ve been putting up youtube video’s and the rightwing sites are saying they are going to march on dc on the day of the default

    Where have we heard THAT particular item per the last paragraph?

  • aadila

    Thank you ETO for clarifying what should be obvious to any American citizen and if it isn’t, it’s a failure of our educational system to instruct people about what our government is and how it works.

    Just to add, the obligation of the Executive to propose a budget dates back to 1921, it was not always done this way. The main reason why the President does this is because he or she is the one who must sign the budget into law. It is a question of efficiency — Congress already knows the President’s thinking going into the budget process, so they can sort out the details and come up with a bill that stands a chance.

    This is the reverse process of what happens when the President negotiates treaties with foreign governments — in this case, Congress must approve them, so the President will only negotiate around things he know stand a chance of approval in the legislature. None of this should be a surprise to anyone and blaming the President for budget snarls is really rather ignorant.

  • shawn

    well its about time for a federalist-socialist-anti-racist party

    they’ve been putting up youtube video’s and the rightwing sites are saying they are going to march on dc on the day of the default

  • Matthew Bright

    You know who else banned parking spaces?

    Hitler, that’s who. It was his secret agenda, when he invaded Europe to force people, particularly the Jews, to get Health Insurance.

  • Rev Deborah J Lipsitz

    Wait, isn’t this the classic definition of sedition? Not that it matters, give the way the USDOJ has ignored such threats since President Obama was first sworn in back in 2009.

    But, perhaps the SPLC might wish to pass this article along to Virginia and Maryland authorities (who definitely have authority over commercial vehicles)? After all, deliberately blocking the roadway with a commercial vehicle is a crime under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, especially if it results in property damage, injury, or death.

    With all the BS issues truckers have to deal with every singe day away from home, THIS is what these extremists choose to deal with, overthrowing the government? Not how diver pay has been slashed, benefits eliminated, work hours and schedules increased, reduced freight rates, VERY high fuel costs, poorly maintained company equipment, ad infinitum. No, nothing to do directly with trucking, only the political agenda of billionaire funded hate groups.

    No wonder the industry is so screwed up.

  • Yodz


    It passed, the Supreme Court okay’d it, attempts to overturn or delay through legislation were unsuccessful (time we’ll spent, by the way), and the people decided when they cast their votes against the GOP in the 2012 election. Trying to say this is about the dems not being willing to negotiate is like trying to change the terms of a contract after it’s been signed and then complaining when the opposing side refuses. The GOP methodology is nothing short of terrorism and they will be held accountable…by history if nothing else.

  • Scooter Livingston

    Looking at their FB page (and they have a link here saying this page is ‘wrong”) I see a bunch of neo-Nazis and mysoginists. A woman who disagreed with them was cal;ed a “prostitute” and a c*nt”

    Here’s a response to a opponent:

    Tony Bracci “You’re a dumb cunt. Most of the drivers are owner/operators who are doing this on their free time. There wont be any delay in the delivery of goods. Go suck a dick.”

    As far as i know no union truckers want anything to do with these psychos.

  • munkle

    So the want to repeal the NDAA, the Patriot Act, and shut down DHS? What’s wrong with that? The government has been accumulating tyrannical authority since 9/11, and its about time for it to stop. The latest is Obama’s claim of authority to order any US citizen assassinated without trial or jury.

    It’s funny that the left doesn’t like every part of their agenda but didn’t life a finger to stop these unconstitutional incursion. Start your own movement which doesn’t threaten Obamacare. There a lot more Americans in sympathy with these truckers than you think. Restoring basic rights is a good goal.

  • Gregory

    Well, this thread certainly attracted the RWNJs.

    I think if anyone is arrested as a result of this stunt, it won’t be Pelosi or Feinstein. Obama will not be impeached nor will Obamacare go away.

    Delusional is the kindest thing I can say about these fools.

  • concernedcitizen

    Well this is just further proof of extremist truckers using their rigs for all the wrong reasons.

    We have them on the roads serving their organized crime masters harassing innocent people, and God knows what else…now we have these nuts talking about shutting down D.C.

    Maybe we need tougher backgrounds on those who are to be hauling through America with rigs that could be used as physical and economic weapons against an innocent and often unsuspecting population.

  • ETO

    James, the President proposes a budget each year, and it simply reflects the Administration’s priorities. You can look up the President’s budget request overviews on the website of the White House Office of Management and Budget and see for yourself that there is one for each Fiscal Year of this presidency.

    Congress never, ever “votes” on the President’s Budget (Proposal or Request), so there is no meaning to the claim you make, even though I know you heard it or read it from what you thought was a reliable source. I’ve heard it before, too, but it is just wrong. I’m telling you this as someone who has worked on Federal budgets for 20+ years. The Constitution does vest in the House the responsibility for originating fiscal legislation. Our founding fathers were much too smart to vest much power over the Federal budget in the President, lol.

    The House has passed 4 of the 12 annual spending bills it must pass before the Senate passes its 12 bills. The names and general jurisdiction of these bills can be found on the website of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. These 4 bills do not include the bills passed in October by the House…these are what I think of as “pretend” bills. They fund only a handful of individual agencies and not in the context of their organization in the Cabinet Departments (where applicable) that were established by Congress. They cannot be anything but disingenuous, unfortunately, and the leadership protestation to the contrary make their approach all the more chilling to me. Because, unfortunately, they are seen as credible by their own constituency, who often have little experience in these matters.

    I’m not sure which unions you mean, but the AFL-CIO did create a resolution on the Affordable Care Act this year, generally supporting it, but recommending changes. It is on the AFL-CIO website.

    While I certainly think Democrats have their weaknesses and contributions to this crisis we are in, the shutdown is being caused largely by actions on the part of the House Republicans that are, essentially, unprecedented and indefensible in light of many, many years of established, regular legislative order. Even some conservative older school Members of their own caucus admit as much, publicly, out of concern for the way this will affect their election chances in 2014. Like Rep. Peter King (R-NY):

    Finally, as Barb says, there is an existing, deliberative process for debating and passing legislative policy, and if House Republicans “get away” with this obstruction of the Federal budget process to nullify a bill that CONGRESS PASSED (meaning it was considered and voted on by these Members or their predecessor), it could signal the end of our Constitutionally-based, representative, deliberative process — one that the Nation trusts Congress to engage in when Members or groups of Members want to pursue some policy change. It would threaten representative democracy, because it would set a precedent, so every time a group of Members wants something to start or end and is in a position similar to the House Republicans, they will attempt the same route…shutting down the government’s functions willy nilly and creating great uncertainty both domestically and internationally about the ability of the Nation to govern itself and to conduct business at any level.

  • http://googlechrome Lia Hrey

    please arrest these people and impound the trucks, they make us all look bad!

  • Erika

    E, there happen to be 800,000 people thrown out of their jobs due to the federal shutdown. And that only counts people who directly work for the federal government and not the number of federal contractors and vendors. Or the number of people who work in jobs such as merchants, chefs, etc. who depend upon federal workers.

    And btw, those 800,000 people are not getting paid – i’m pretty sure that not paying 800,000 people is a lot cheaper than putting up a few barracades.

    And the American public can see which side was publically cheering a government shutdown and are now arguing that it is not hurting anyone and should go on for ever. They are also the ones which are minimizing what the government shutdown means and claiming that the government shut down is only closing the national parks. Of course, that seems dumb that you say that the government shutdown is just some barricades across monuments and you are still intent on blaming Obama.

    btw, good luck trying to get ahold of someone at SSA if your check gets lost in the mail.

  • Pvt. Meekly


    Healthcare reform has to start somewhere and the ACA is the first step toward single-payer (I hope).

  • aadila

    The Republicans negotiate like their ideological all-father, the Lord Humungus:

    The Humungus
    There has been too much violence. Too much pain. But I have an honorable compromise. Just walk away. Give me your pump, the oil, the gasoline, and the whole compound, and I’ll spare your lives. Just walk away and we’ll give you a safe passageway in the wastelands. Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror.

    [Soldiers start up their vehicles]

    The Humungus
    I await your answer. You have a full day to decide.

    [Everyone drives away]

  • Scrod

    Since the beltway records license plates, the likeliest outcome will be that a lot of these poor dupes will get arrested and nearly all will lose their licenses and be put out of work. Libertarian leaders love to play a nice game of “let’s you and him fight” while they are nowhere near the action.
    Really, anyone who thinks Obama is part of some huge conspiracy should just go see a doctor.

  • james

    BARB WROTE on October 8th, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    The Constitution requires the House to initiate all spending bills. Why did the House GOP write and pass a budget they refuse to honor?

    Barb, the president must present a budget every year as well and he has only done it two times, and both times NO ONE voted yes for it, even those in his own party.

    the GOP led house voted on 4 different legislations before the deadline and the senate only voted on 3. the last sent over to the senate was a one year delay on the american people signing up for obamacare just like corporations got, i personally think this is a good thing as its known that the more americans find out about whats in the bill. they have it and want it repealed…. if the unaffordable care act was so good, how come the union leaders are also asking for a repeal or having it rewritten because they say its hurting the pocket of their members

  • Andrew

    If truck drivers really wanted to send a message, it would be far more effective for them to just stop driving in mass. That would bring the entire country to a halt. That being said, this group is fringe and I bet only one or two actually show up. Where were all these oath keepers and right wingers who cry tyranny, when Bush was in office? Crickets chirping.

  • Left Wing Trucker

    Fellow Right Wingnut Truckers! “Sovereign” citizens don’t pay State or Federal taxes! They would be our country’s host, the Native Americans! You are proposing to commit illegal activities in D.C.! Don’t follow through with your feeble, ridiculous plan! Your demands are THREATS and that’s why they’re on this website! Be prepared for massive, swift, and expert push back if you get out of line! My personal reaction to your plan? jajajajajajajaja!! FOOLS!

  • Xavier

    Yeah, Obama and those Democrats sure don’t want to compromise, they don’t want to agree to give the Republicans 100% of what they want. How dare they, right?

  • Dan Zabetakis

    What Erika said is the truth. They’ll have to bring a lot of trucks to DC if they intend to make a noticeable difference.

    I can see them arranging a big photo op with Fox News. The reporter goes live with a report at the scheduled time: “Well, nothing is happening yet… We’ve just gotten word that the truckers are stuck in traffic…”

  • Barb


    The Constitution requires the House to initiate all spending bills. Why did the House GOP write and pass a budget they refuse to honor?

    Because if they wanted to have an honest discussion about spending cuts, they’d have to take responsibility. Instead they passed the budget they could get the votes for and get through the Senate and signed by the President.

    Now they are holding that budget hostage in order to demand that a law passed by both chambers of Congress, signed by the President, and upheld by SCOTUS overturned even though every bill they wrote to overturn it legislatively (40+ of them) failed to pass.

    Negotiation happens during the legislative process. What they are doing is rejecting the negotiations that have already been had.

    Last week Boehner told the Dems he had a bill he could bring to them. Then he reneged. Now that they are rejecting previous negotiations and unable to keep their word on current negotiations, it is just not possible to negotiate with the House GOP.

    Keep in mind, the House GOP got fewer votes than the House Dems. So in 2012 AFTER the ACA passed the Democratic party won the majority of the votes for House, Senate, and President. In what way does our republic require us then to implement the entire platform of the Romney/Ryan, the ticket that lost the presidential election?

    This is a coup. They are running straight over every mechanism we have for self governance and ignoring every negotiation and compromise that is made during the normal process.

    There’s a reason Republicans call the ACA “Obamacare” and that is because they’ve tied their propaganda to it. Americans consistently poll as hating Obamacare but approving of the ACA. That is how you know you are dealing with people who are disingenuous at best.

    If Obama and the Dems cave, this is what we have to look forward to from now on. Whomever controls the House of Representatives gets to dictate policy to the entire country because they have power of the purse. Way to completely annihilate the separation of powers.

  • Jazon

    There were a number of trucker protests in Canada in the past, they didn’t flat out stop to kill traffic, they drove just under the speed limit. That’s enough to make traffic blow up into one huge clusterfu … mess.

  • Melee

    I am sure they would love to block DC traffic.. The only problem is that it is blocked to BEGIN WITH! Good luck, truckers.. This is going to be a laugh.

  • Reynardine
  • Brightwater

    E, you’ve got your parties mixed up. It’s the Republicans who refuse to compromise or hold a vote. And it’s the Teabaggers who need to grow up or get out. Obama has compromised time after time after time, and gotten nothing for it but more abuse and lies from his opponents. Now it’s time to *stop* negotiating with hostage-takers. If you want your National Parks back, call your Republican Rep and tell him or her to start acting like a a reasonable human being.

  • John P.

    I bet we don’t see more than 50 of these guys, tops. If independent truckers are all as beleaguered as they claim, not many will be able to afford $2,000 in fuel to come from Texas to attend the rally. And if they cause any trouble, the police will charge them with a lot more than just “obstructing traffic.” Their rigs will get impounded while waiting a couple weeks for a court date. They’ll be bankrupt. How many of these guys are going to risk financial ruin on a protest with such laughably implausible goals? It’s easy to talk a big game but when it comes time to act, this will be as big a fizzle as the “Million Muslim March” or the “Two Million Bikers in Washington” that opposed them.

    Also, their plan shows risible lack of understanding of life in DC: they plan to drive during rush hour at 55 miles an hour, blocking cars from passing them. If only!

  • tjallen

    This can’t go well. The truckers strike in France did shut down France and won concessions, but I doubt it will work here. Keeping interstates open is a national security issue. Quantico marines are nearby. I think they have no idea what they are up against, if push comes to shove. Not to mention their views are only held by a tiny vocal minority, and it seems unlikely they will have general support, especially around DC.

  • Gary Smith

    Truckers work hard for a living, which means there aren’t too many left-wingers among them.

  • Erika

    If they try to “shut down” Washington by parking in the traffic lanes of I-395, I-495, I-270, and U.S. 50 no one might notice the difference between their “protest” and a normal morning commute :)

  • Ricky T

    Why would these guys waste their time? Normal rush hour traffic in DC is horrendous as it is. How is anyone going to know that traffic is backed up because of them or if it’s just everybody trying to get back to the ‘burbs?

  • E

    How can you say the Republican Party shut down the government. The Dems do not want to negotiate on anything, not even hold a vote. What Obama is doing is very childish for closing down all these places like the monuments and parks. Really, putting up cones on the side of the highway to stop people from taking pictures of mount rushmore or kicking people out of their houses at Lake Mead. Its a joke. Its costing more money to put these barricades up than to do nothing at all. I hope this protest goes very well. Obama needs to grow up or get out.

  • Reynardine

    Too many coincidences aren’t. And I bet too many of these truck drivers aren’t.

  • aadila

    I am pretty sure blocking public roads is a crime, and not a legitimate form of peaceful assembly as recognized by the Constitution.

  • P

    Well, in all honesty, the Republican Party isn’t quite sure why it shut down Washington either or what it would take to bring it back.